Many have inquired about WakeMed’s response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The WakeMed Emergency Services Institute (ESI) has been in close contact with the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross and the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services, who are advising us as to the current situation and the various needs. We will remain in close contact with these agencies as to how we may be of assistance as the rescue, recovery and rebuilding process continues.
Currently, the greatest need in Haiti is for financial donations. There are many well-organized global relief agencies that are sending people and supplies to the area. They warn that collecting supplies may not be helpful to a nation without the means to distribute them. Therefore, money is the most valuable way to help organizations purchase the needed items in mass quantity and transport supplies and volunteer workers to Haiti. In fact, the American Red Cross has established a warehouse distribution point in Panama and will be getting essential goods into the country from that point.
WakeMed has been a partner of the American Red Cross for many years and has already provided financial support to the group. To further aid, we encourage people who want to help to make a donation to the International Response Fund of the American Red Cross. There are numerous ways in which you can give to this fund – visit www.redcross.org; or call (800) 733-2767, or you can donate $10 by texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999. You may also mail or deliver a check to their office on Peartree Lane. It is important to note that there have already been reports of fraudulent telephone solicitation for donations. Please be wary of any telephone calls requesting your credit card information.
With regard to the deployment of WakeMed’s ESI emergency response resources and people, we remain in close contact with the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services, and they are well aware of our resources and willingness to be of assistance. ESI’s assets, including the State Medical Assistance Team, are deployable only at the request of North Carolina Emergency Management who works closely with FEMA, and the US Department of Health and Human Services. At this point, we have not been asked to deploy teams to Haiti.